Sunday links

28th February 2021

John Wyver writes: one more lockdown week, one more list of links to richly interesting reads, along with a small number of videos. My thanks to all those on Twitter and elsewhere who have made recommendations.

The 50 most beautiful cinemas in the world: an absolutely wonderful, beautifully illustrated list from Time Out – I’ve been inside just 5, and seen the exteriors of 3 more; a mission to visit every one might be appropriate for The After.

Where is the love?: Seeking intimacy in Josephine Baker’s films: Terri Simone Francis for Salon is terrific on the three features in which the star appeared.

Raymond Cauchetier, whose camera caught the New Wave, dies at 101: The New York Times obit by Robert D. McFadden – and there’s more at the photographer’s ‘self-portrait’, written in June 2013; also Richard Brody writing in 2015; header image: Jeanne Moreau and her screen lovers Oskar Werner, right, and Henri Serre while filming François Truffaut’s Jules and Jim (1962); Raymond Cauchetier/La Galerie de l’Instant.

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Sunday links

21st February 2021

John Wyver writes: more links for lockdown, drawn from things that have engaged and enraged me this week; many are drawn from Twitter recommendations, while others come from my regular reading including the Guardian, LRB and New Statesman.

Why political conservatives should embrace free historical inquiry – rather than imposing and promoting an official version of the history of the United Kingdom: David Allen Green for The Law and Policy Blog.

Q&A | ‘We need to defend the freedom to research our histories in all their nuance’: a very good interview with Corinne Fowler, professor of postcolonial literature at the University of Leicester, by Geraldine Kendall Adams for the Museums Association, who ‘has been singled out for criticism by senior government figures and the press following the publication of a landmark report on links to slavery and colonialism at National Trust properties, which she co-authored.’

Culture wars in country houses – what the National Trust controversy tells us about British history today: a fine contribution by Charlotte Riley to the Legacies of British slave-ownership UCL blog, explaining the background to the current assault.

The culture minister should take an interest in museums – but he can’t tell them how to interpret the past: good, polite words from Charles Saumarez Smith for Apollo.

From folklore to wokelore – how myths of Britishness are turning totalitarian: for Byline Times, Peter Jukes and Hardeep Matharu powerfully ‘argue that Britain cannot ignore the Conservative kulturkampf, and that one way to combat the mythologising of politics is to expose the politics of the myths’.

Free speech proposals are ‘Trojan Horse for authoritarianism’: Ian Dunt on fine form for politics.co.uk.

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Sunday links

14th February 2021

John Wyver writes: another lockdown weekend, another list of links to articles and videos that have engaged me over the past seven days; my thanks as always to all those in my Twitter timeline who share interesting, informative and – very occasionally – just plain silly stuff.

The acrobatic grace of Cary Grant: for Criterion’s The Current, Angelica Jade Bastién on how the star could combine a ‘suave, glistening surface with pratfalls and acrobatics, perfectly timed, that allow him to be silly, even foolish, but retaining an assured sensibility that means he never becomes the fool.’

Inside cinema shorts – Beside the sea: a lovely 9-minute video essay by Pamela Hutchison about British film’s love affair with the seaside.

Mon Oncle d’Amérique – on Unforgiven: for Reverse Shot, Julien Allen is terrific on Clint Eastwood’s 1992 western (above), and on story-telling, uncertainty and America.

Tokyo rising: how Japan’s new wave rose – and broke: this week Sight & Sound re-upped this really good essay by Donald Richie about the generation of filmmakers who emerged from the upheavals of the 1960s; originally published in 2001.

The drenching richness of Andrei Tarkovsky: Alex Ross for The New Yorker thoughtfully reassesses the films of the great Russian director – which also gives me an excuse to show Kyle Kallgren’s 2018 video essay Nostalghia Critique, which is about Tarkovsky (he makes an appearance) but also copyright, Youtube and existential despair.

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Sunday links

7th February 2021

John Wyver writes: another collection of pointers to the past week’s interesting articles and videos, gathered from my Twitter timeline and elsewhere, and with the help of friends also.

All American end zones: for Super Bowl Sunday, Thomas Quist at Mubi.com Notebook on American football films.

Don DeLillo, the Super Bowl, and the language of the game: … and Jake Nevins for The New Yorker on the centrality of football in the works of one of the greatest living writers…

The first Super Bowl was broadcast on two networks, but you’re not allowed to watch it today: … and from Brian Flood at Fox News, the fascinating tale of the legal wranglings about access to the archival recording of the first Super Bowl back in 1967. Pictured, CBS announcer Ray Scott at that first game. Wearing headset is commentator Frank Gifford. (Credit: CBS via Getty Images.)

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Sunday links

31st January 2021

John Wyver writes: each week to make this selection I highlight interesting-looking stuff as it rolls through my Twitter feed before returning to it later to read and assess, and I supplement these choices with a regular rosta of journals and sites to check – and the final result today is…

• From Versailles to the War on Terror: Julia Elyachar rounds off a six-part Public Books essay series about the Treaty of Versailles and today with a brilliant analysis of the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire; editor Joanne Randa Nucho introduces the series here, with links to the other essays – and the header is a detail from William Orpen’s The Signing of Peace in the Hall of Mirrors, Versailles, 28th June 1919 (1919). Imperial War Museum London / Wikimedia Commons.

Senses of Cinema 97: a new edition of the online journal, as welcome as ever, and especially so for the ‘World Poll 2020″ which begins with the Introduction by Fiona Villella and in 8 sections gathers together the recommendations of many of the best and brightest writers on film from around the world…

Alphaville – Journal of Film and Screen Media 20:… and there’s a fascinating new issue of this open access collection, with editor Laura Rascaroli introducing a cornucopia of scholarship linked to the Women’s Film & Television History Network–UK/Ireland,

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Sunday links

24th January 2021

John Wyver writes: A good week, on the whole, for the United States, but a less wonderful one, perhaps, for the rest of us – anyway, here’s some stuff that I found interesting, with my thanks to those who pointed me towards much of it, via Twitter and in other ways.

The awe and anguish of being an American today: Robin Wright for The New Yorker.

How Trumpism is becoming America’s new ‘Lost Cause’: for Politico, Zack Stanton speaks with Civil War and Reconstruction historian David Blight:

‘We’re drawn back to the Civil War because its great issues—especially the great issues of Reconstruction—are still with us: the nature of federalism; the relationship between the states and the federal government; what government means in people’s lives; how centralized government should be; how energetic, how interventionist government should be; and race and racism.’

‘God, Guns, & Trump’ – anatomy of the crowd [£, but limited free access]: a fine essay for The New York Review by Rebecca Lee Sanchez with photographs by Radcliffe Roye about the body language of those who lost the election and those who stormed the Capitol.

Norse code: for Reverse Code, Carly A. Kocurek on how the videogame Assassin’s Creed Valhalla ‘borrows from a century-old history curriculum—and reinforces white supremacy’.

France knows how this ends: there has been so much good Inauguration-linked writing this week, including this by James McAuley for The Atlantic about the parallels between this moment in the States and the fin de siècle ‘defining psychodrama’ of France’s Third Republic that was the Dreyfus Affair.

Today We Rise, from Girl Up:

QAnon – the Italian artists who may have inspired America’s most dangerous conspiracy theory: Eddy Frankel for The Art Newspaper with a remarkable story about origins of the crazy conspiracy promulgators and a group of leftist artists in Italy who in the mid-1990s called themselves Luther Blissett.

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God Bless America

20th January 2021

Last night at the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool in Washington D.C. nurse Lori Marie Key, who works at St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia, Michigan, sings ‘Amazing Grace’ at a memorial for COVID-19 lives lost. Video from WTVR CBS 6.

Sunday links

17th January 2021

John Wyver writes: after last Sunday when this selection more or less ignored explicitly political elements they elbow themselves to the fore once again this week, although my choice is of pieces you may not have encountered previously — many thanks, as ever, for recommendations via Twitter and in other ways.

The breakaway [£, but limited free access]: I don’t ultimately agree with his conclusion, which in any case remains somewhat open, but this is a brilliant 11,271 words by Perry Anderson about Britain and Europe for LRB.

The party of Lincoln ignores his warning against mobocracy [£ but limited free access]: a very fine historical analysis by Sarah Churchwell for New York Review of Books.

“Executing politicians? Lulz.” For Trump’s zombies, “funny” cosplay is the language of deadly fascism: for Vanity Fair, Jeff Sharlet is excellent on the importance of learning the visual language of fascism…

Vikings, Crusaders, Confederates: … as is Matthew Gabrielle for Perspectives on History from the American Historical Association; and the following thread is an especially valuable complement…

• ‘After me, baby, you’re going to be ruined for everybody else’: Donald Trump refused to take ‘no’ from women – and then from America itself: blistering, painful writing from E. Jean Carroll, also for Vanity Fair.

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Sunday links

10th January 2021

John Wyver writes: I have to share that I’m working on a journal article with an imminent deadline, and so this week’s selection of stuff that has engaged and interested me this week is perhaps more limited and somewhat more austere than usual. My thanks to all those on Twitter who alerted me to good things over the past few extraordinary days.

The Guardian view on culture in 2021 – a tough road ahead: a valuable editorial that is thoughtful and angry in about equal measure.

A listening eye: the films of Mike Dibb: I intend to return to this important online season from Whitechapel Gallery and curator Matthew Harle celebrating the documentaries of the major filmmaker Mike Dibb (above, at work), whose achievements are appropriately celebrated…

• Lorca, Hockney, Byatt, Berger – how Mike Dibb got the greats to open up: …in Laura Barton’s very good Guardian article.

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